Every month in Sex at Our Age, award-winning senior sexpert Joan Price answers your questions about everything from loss of desire to solo sex and partner issues. Nothing is out of bounds! To send your questions directly to Joan, email email@example.com.
I am a 64-year-old male, divorced for three years, and I’m frustrated with online dating. I have sent well over 50 messages to women within five years of my age, with very few responses. I mostly communicate what I find attractive in the woman’s profile – often times common interests – yet I seldom hear back from them. My messages are never sexually suggestive, so that’s not the problem, and I believe that my profile and pics are a good representation of me.
I’m at the point now that I only message women who message me first, which is no good, because often their interests don’t match mine.
I find myself getting even more depressed when I do get messages, because they’re usually from women who are five, ten, and even fifteen years older than I am. I’m interested in outdoor sports like skiing and bicycling. My idea of fun is not spending time at a casino or sitting on a park bench.
I’m ready to ditch the online dating thing and maybe try Meetup.com activities as a way to meet women, but when I look at who’s planning to attend the activities I’m interested in, it’s mostly women 15 to 30 years younger than me. I don’t know where I fit in. I guess I don’t fit in.
My libido is far from dead, though I’d be happy for now with sensual pleasures like holding hands, massages and the like. But since I haven’t found anyone to date, I haven’t been able to enjoy these pleasures. My physical needs seem to be a mere fantasy at this point in my life.
I’d like to be in an exclusive and committed relationship eventually. As a late bloomer, it took me a long time to figure myself out. I waited to get married until I was 39 – I thought I had figured myself out at that point. Surprise! That marriage lasted 17 years. I always had hope about the future, and that hope is diminishing. —Seeking Ms. Right
Online dating, or any kind of dating, can be frustrating. We have to present ourselves in our profiles, messages, phone calls and first dates (if they happen) almost as if we’re interviewing for a job. We want to be authentic, but a special kind of authentic that emphasizes what makes us unique, interesting and potentially a good partner. What do we say? What do we leave out? What do we save for later? Although people of all ages experience this, it feels especially nerve-wracking at our age, because we know we don’t have the luxury of unlimited years to make a love connection.
In a private email, you gave me access to your online dating profile. I think I figured out your problem. The way you talk about specifics in their profiles when you contact women is excellent! However, when they go to read your profile, they don’t see many specifics about you. “The first two paragraphs don’t say anything about you, and the third paragraph discusses your divorce. Later you do mention your outdoor sports activities, but it may be too late. I encourage you to rewrite your profile, emphasizing in the first two paragraphs what the women you want to attract will want to know about you. It’s crucial to make an appealing first impression. If you leave it for the end, a potential date may have stopped reading, because she hasn’t learned anything about who you are as a person, what matters to you and what you have to offer. Once you fix your profile, I think you’ll find that more women will respond.
Why do older women who aren’t really a match write to you? (1) Your photo shows a very handsome man; (2) You haven’t clarified what kind of woman would be a match. I don’t think the problem is online dating as it is that you don’t present clearly who you are and what you’re looking for.
I felt unseasy reading that you don’t want to hear from women older than you because you aren’t into casinos and park benches. You wouldn’t want a younger woman to assume that all you’re interested in is golf and TV, would you? I’m 71, active and lively, and the only time I stop at a park bench is when I’m tired from hiking. My dance classes and friendship circles are filled with vibrant older women. Be careful that you don’t write off women my age assuming that we can’t keep up with you!
Meetup.com activities are a splendid way to meet new people with your own interests. Once you start signing up for specific events, you may find that others your age will, too. It could be that your perfect woman – a cyclist and skier, age 64 or so – looked at the same Meetup group you did and didn’t sign up because she didn’t see anyone else her age. Whether or not you meet someone special through Meetup, you’ll have a good time doing what you love. And you can talk to the organizers about how to draw in others your age.
You’re a man who doesn’t let age limit your physical activity. Please don’t give up on finding an exciting, compatible companion and bringing love and sexual fulfillment into your life. That may seem like a fantasy at this point, but rewrite your profile, add more photos including showing yourself doing outdoor activities. Contact women whose interests match yours. Attend Meetup activities. And do it all with a spirit of adventure!
I hope you find that your next problem is choosing among the dynamic, interesting women you meet. I wish you well, and I hope you’ll write in to let us know what happens. —Joan
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Joan Price is the author of the new “Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50: How to Maintain – or Regain! – a Spicy, Satisfying Sex Life”; the award-winning self-help book “Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex”; and the sexy memoir, “Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty.” Visit Joan’s blog, “Naked at Our Age,” and her Facebook page.